Released In: 1992
After your hometown is destroyed in an earthquake, a slightly deranged old man charges with you with the task of the saving the rest of the world from a similar fate. You must defeat four Vile Evils to obtain the four elemental crystals that guide your world. Along the way, you'll make some new friends and upgrade your weapons and armor. Then, with the crystals in hand, you will square off against the nefarious Dark King.
Syd Lexia: This game is hella easy, but then again it was supposed to be. It's easy for us to sit here and say that it sucked, but the game was aimed at first graders, not seasoned RPG fans. It was a decent game for what it was, but I do have one gripe: the location names fucking sucked. Your journey begins on the Hill of Destiny, then you progress to the Level Forest, where you level up. After that, you head to a nearby town called Foresta. I found that shit to be incredibly patronizing, and I'm sure kids did too. Kids don't want books and video games to patronize them; they want them to provide an immersive fantasy world. Do you think the Harry Potter books would have been as popular if Hogwarts had been called The Magick School Of Great Plot Importance? Of course not.
Valdronius: OK, let's look at this game for what it really is: a game designed by Square to appeal to non-RPG players. So it should come as no surprise that the game is like an RPG, except extremely dumbed down so that preschoolers, Madden fans, your grandmother, and similarly intelligent people can handle it. Let's look at what's missing: random battles, save points, manual equipment, and the party system. I'm pretty sure most action gamers prefer to see their enemies coming, so, no random battles. Having to restart from a designated save point when you die, then having to go back and redo parts is kind of frustrating, so I can understand being able to save whenever, wherever. Similarly, I guess manual equipment can be a hassle if you're not used to it. Most action-oriented gamers don't want to wade through inventory screens looking for that cool new sword they just obtained; they want to start wreaking havoc immediately. Finally, having a two person party eliminates the need to worry about the status of several characters at once. Putting all these things together, it's not hard to see why hardcore RPG fans absolutely revile this game, especially after the awesomeness that was Final Fantasy II. However, for what it was, it was pretty good. And it did bring one thing to the table that I thought was really cool: enemies have multiple sprites that change to reflect how much damage you've done to them, so you're not just hacking away at a boss and hoping to God that it dies before your potions run out.
Douche McCallister: Probably the worst RPG I have ever had the displeasure of owning, but it helped me realize that seeing the words Final Fantasy on the box doesn’t always mean it's going to be a good game. Yeah, I know it's a beginner RPG, but still. And the end boss turns into a spider. I hate spiders.
Knyte: This game was made specifically for the American market, as an easy RPG that even Americans could play! Not only was it stupidly insulting to us, but then to rub salt into the wound, SquareSoft released it in Japan as Final Fantasy USA so that Japanese people would play it and blame its crappiness on us.